Tutu Kanyako Foundation Leads On Peer To Peer Engagement Enhancing Community Understanding On Negative Impacts Of Drugs Among Young People In Kambia District
Tutu Kanyako Foundation (TKF), a community-based organization working on Education and Agriculture to Empower humanity and trigger them to take responsibility to live in a just society has on the 14th November 2022 together with its partner Action For Youth and Children’s Network (AYCN) engage stakeholders, religious leaders, musicians and civil society organizations on a one day Peer To Peer Engagement Enhancing Community Understanding On the Negative Impacts Of Drugs Among Young People at the Kambia District council.
Young people are valuable resources to promote and sustain the development of any nation. For years now, greater attention has been placed on these young people for inclusive and participatory governance at all levels. However, it has been clear that the rate at which young people are taking drugs if not checked will contribute to a drastic reduction in the potential of these youth.
According to the United Nations Office on Drug Abuse. In 2008, Sierra Leone was identified as one of the major gateways in West Africa for cocaine trafficking. The most prominent case has been the landing of a private aircraft at Lungi International Airport in July 2008 with 700 kg of cocaine on board. The UN Police (UNPOL) has been very active in strengthening anti‐drug law enforcement capacities, notably with the set up of a Joint Drug Interdiction Task Force (JDITF). This unit brings together all competent law enforcement agencies with a view to increasing efficiency and effectiveness in the fight against drug trafficking.
Despite the effort made, the intake of drug among young and old people continue to be a challenge, the coming of Kush in the past few years put young and old people lives at risk with many of them abusing and misusing drug.
The recent survey in Kambia District done by Tutu Kanyako Foundation and its partner AYCN shows that 176 out of 200 young people they interviewed take drugs or alcohol. According to them in the next 10 years New health emergencies will emerge, Founder of the AYCN Mr Alie Conteh, during the launch of the “Nor Gie, Nor Take Campaign said ” This campaign is titled Peer to Peer because as young people, we want to engage our stakeholders and give them the power to understand the impacts of alcohol and drugs abuse among young people and for us to work together with these stakeholders and young people to engage young people across the districts to put an end in drug abuse” he further went on to thank the founder of the lead organization Tutu Kanyako Foundation who is currently based in Canada for leading and extending the partnership to work with them “I want to thank Madam Victoria Kromah commonly known as Tutu Kanyanko Foundation based in Canada for partnering with us”
Speaker after speaker spoke about the need of the negative impacts of drugs and alcohol in Kambia and the country as a whole, Mr. Santigie Jeremiah Sesay, District Coordinator for the Tutu Kanyako Foundation in Kambia District said ” The amount of drug intake in Kambia District is becoming alarming, as an organization that works with and for young people in empowering them, we become victims if we don’t take responsibility, our Agriculture work with young people in the villages where we work is affected because most of them are seriously engage in drug abuse, our hope after this engagement with the support from the stakeholders and other youth organizations is to start community engagement with young people on the negative impacts of drug abuse and also empower religious leaders to use their institutions to talk about the negative effect of drug and alcohol.” he ended.
Lead Chairlady of the event and leader of the Sierra Leone Alcohol Policy Alliance, Madam Isatu Kamara said that the issue of drug abuse is becoming alarming, she further stated that she was saddened when she watch a video of security personnel on social media acting in a disorderly manner breaks her heart.” It is immense considering the location of the district as it is a cross border district, we are having a lot of challenges in these areas” she added.
Daniel T Kargbo, who is a popular musician in Kambia District together with his colleague join the campaign by doing a song against the abuse and misuse of drugs and alcohol. During an interview, he said “This is a very important campaign as the issue of drug abuse is becoming alarming, We are happy to have used our talents to do a song dedicated to putting an end to the misuse and abuse of drugs”
A representative of the RSLAF during the event said “I am very much impressed and happy to see what you are doing here this morning, this is the first event I have attended since I moved here. I would like to thank the Tutu Kanyako Foundation and its partners for organizing such an event, I learned a lot during the presentation made by the speaker. I would to state that we are committed to providing our service to achieve this goal together with the partner organizations” he ended.
Mohamed Alim Conteh, Youth Leader in Kambia District reiterated the importance of the engagement and noted his unflinching support for the campaign “I have pledged myself as a youth leader to give all my support to this campaign to see that we achieve this because drug abuse has been alarming in the Kambia District.
Tutu Kanyako Foundation (TKF) is a community-based organization working on Education and Agriculture to Empower humanity and triggered them to take responsibility, live in a just society, develop processes to improve the quality of their lives, and ensure a society that perfects humanity.
•AYCN is youth based organization established to create the necessary platform for young people to actualize their dreams and aspirations